Redlining the engine, good or bad?

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Hi, I drive a 2004 Honda Accord Coupe and yesterday I decided to test out the car's power. I took the car to the redline a couple of times and I was wondering if that was something I shouldn't have done. The car has already been broken in, I changed the oil for the car after 6000km and now it has 7500km. The car then started emitting a funny smell, but not from the hood, it was coming from the back of car, possibly the exhaust. My friend says his car does the same when he redlines and says its normal, should I be worried? Thanks in advance

posted by  AccordCoupeV6

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Redline means "this fast and no faster."

You might have noticed that the engine was past its power peak at redline. So, there is usually not much point in going there, unless you are in a competitive situation where shifting at the optimal microsecond makes a difference. Not too many situations like that in every day traffic, where your Accord is happiest.

The worst over-rev is usually a missed downshift, where you go from fifth to second at 75 mph instread of fifth to third, like you intended. Rev limiters can't help here, and bent parts may result.

posted by  gravistar

Genearlly that post had some pretty good advice, but why did you contradict yourself? You're exactly correct saying;

Then follow it up with this?

If you're past the power peak then you've already missed "shifting at the optimal microsecond". Simple, huh? It's all about THINK, TYPE, SUBMIT.

posted by  vwhobo

he didn't contradict himself. he said that redlining is not that bad. and it isn't if you dont do it all the time. what he meant if i interputed it right is that you shouldn't be readlining if you shift at the right time. you should shift probaly about 1000-500 rpms before the redline. this way you have maximum power when changing gears and minimal engine wear. this way you are not overloading the engine with so much resistance(gear ratio) at such a high rpm.

posted by  ctp_mechanix

First, to answer the title of your post, no you're the one who's stupid. If you were capable of reading my post you can clearly see where he contradicted himself. Instead of doing that you simply typed about 100 words of total blather which is not only pointless and off topic but it is also completely wrong information. THINK, TYPE, SUBMIT. Simple, huh?

posted by  vwhobo

It is not my habit to insult the intelligence of the fine people who post questions and answers here. In my imagination, this site is a virtual front porch, where we can "sit around and chew the fat" and at least be friendly, if not exactly friends. I would hope this attitude was widely held.

As to the seeming (to some readers) contradiction in my original post, let me add that I used to auto-x my Miata a lot, where milliseconds do make a difference. In those situations, I was often deciding if my best time would come from a gear change or a few more microseconds flat out in my current gear before I scrubbed off a lot of speed fast in order to, for instance, negotiate a 270 degree turn.

While I saw many Hondas competing in auto-cross, never did I see an Accord on the course. Wrong tool for the job, I guess. I did see a fellow run his turbo Volvo wagon through the course one time; I guess he thought he had bought a sports car (z-rated tires and so-on). He was embarrassingly slow and sloppy, and left without speaking to anyone.

And, BTW, I drive an Accord myself, a 5-speed I bought new and have driven over 200k miles. I still enjoy running it up near red-line occasionally while tooling around; I don't know, the engine just seems to like to spin. I would never think to auto-x it, however. Mostly, I (or, lately, my kids) use it to commute.

Does this help?

posted by  gravistar

Thanks a lot for your post. I feel a lot less worried. Although today I came across another problem with my car. The engine management light came on, and I know it could indicate any of a variety of things. Is it odd that the light came on after only being driven 8000 km? I was wondering if anyone else also encountered this problem. It's an '04 accord by the way. Thanks.

posted by  AccordCoupeV6

If it's from '04 and it's only been driven 8000km, then maybe it has something to do with the car sitting still for too long?

Funny smell should really serve as an indication that youve taken it too far.
Tell your friend he's an idiot, redlining his engine, and never listen to him again.

Also, you should know that taking the engine much past the peak power is generally not a great idea, as I have been taught that this puts unnecessary strain on the engine.
At least so with your run-of-the-mill cars, as they achieve peak power at 2000-4000 rpm.

DD8   01 Mar 2012 12:48

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